If you are a Vanity Fair or The Economist devotee, you might have recently stumbled upon Jeep’s latest ad campaign, which boldly asserts - ‘America is a melting pot of different cultures, and what we offer to all is the right to life, liberty, and happiness.’ Featuring a classy photo of an elegant car placed in an ultra-modern cityscape, it is coupled with text that conjures up patriotic pride, common place in the world of advertising. So common in fact that you may have just flipped past the glossy pages of the all-American imagery without noticing one crucial detail… it's Vancouver (in British Columbia, not Washington)!
In what may seem like an advertising or branding oversight, or fun use of irony, Jeep decided to set their current ad for the new Cherokee on the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC. In all fairness to Jeep, Vancouver is pictured as an American city in commercials, movies and TV shows more often than not. Once Upon a Time, Deadpool, I Robot or X-Files – to name just a few – are examples of films shot in Vancouver while set in America. Unfortunately for Jeep, in the current climate of American politics, Canadians picked up on the irony of the ad, having a lot of fun with it on social media.
On the Canadian side, we cannot complain about the ad. The ‘right to life, liberty, and happiness’ displayed above the Vancouver skyline is great subliminal messaging. Accidental or not, it did gain attention, and American values painted on a Canadian backdrop are no doubt a great advertisement for Canada. In any case, come back whenever you want, Jeep!